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New Faculty for Fall 2020


Writer(s): Christine Hrycyna


Four faculty members have recently joined our department:

Ryan Altman was identified through the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology (MCMP). He joins both Purdue’s Department of MCMP and the Department of Chemistry as an Associate Professor, after moving his group from the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at The University of Kansas (KU). Prior to obtaining a faculty appointment at KU, Prof. Altman earned a B.S. from Creighton University and a PhD in organic chemistry from MIT and conducted postdoctoral studies at the University of California, Irvine. The Altman group works at the interface of synthetic organic and medicinal chemistries, with synthetic emphases in the areas of organometallic and organofluorine transformations and unique chemical reactivities enabled by fluorinated substructures, and with collaborative medicinal interests spanning a range of disease states, including pain, anxiety, mood disorders and aging. Ryan’s email is and his office is RHPH 410A along with his labs. 

Jonathan Hood was identified in a College-wide Quantum Information Science search, on which Libai Huang and Sabre Kais both served as representatives from our department. He joined us as an Assistant Professor in January 2020 and has a joint position with the Department of Physics. Jon obtained his PhD at Caltech in 2010 in quantum optics, and then did his postdoc at Harvard in ultracold quantum chemistry. His current research uses light to assemble an array of ultracold molecules for the storage and processing of quantum information. Jon’s email is and his office is BRWN B155.

Shiliang Tian was identified in our Inorganic search, chaired by Chris Uyeda, and he joins us as an Assistant Professor this month.  Shiliang received a B.S. degree in chemistry at the Nanjing University, China. He received his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign working with Prof. Yi Lu on metalloprotein engineering. In 2016, he joined Prof. Edward Solomon's lab at Stanford University as an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA postdoctoral fellow. His postdoctoral research focused on understanding the mechanism of the most complex multicopper oxidase ceruloplasmin with spectroscopic methods and calculation. Shiliang’s research group at Purdue aims to investigate the roles of metal ion homeostasis in neurodegenerative diseases, design functional metalloproteins for biosynthetic, biotechnological and pharmaceutical applications, and elucidate the molecular basis of the mechanism of magnetoreception. Shiliang’s email is and his office is BRWN 5170A.

Jesse Chi Zhang was identified in our Analytical search, chaired by Shelley Claridge, and also joins us as an Assistant Professor this month. His research group will be developing innovative analytical chemistry technologies, especially Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy, to study cell metabolism related to human diseases. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Michigan, Department of Chemistry in 2014 with research focusing on surface optical spectroscopy. Following his PhD, he did postdoctoral research in our department and BME with Ji-Xin Cheng, at the Boston University Photonics Center, and at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. Jesse’s email is and his office is BRWN 4170D.